Be My Eyes is an app designed to help people with low vision to get help from thousands of people around the world. It works by connecting people with vision problems to those with good vision. For example, a blind person might need to know which object is red so they take a picture with their phone and a volunteer using Be My Eyes lets them know. The app has been available on iOS and now Android users can join in on the fun!
The app is free, anonymous, and available 24/7. Anyone can join as a volunteer or end user. There’s no commitment when joining, so for sighted people, this is a great way to make the world better just a few minutes at a time. Its creators report over 270 thousand help sessions, with over 500 thousand sighted users helping 38 thousand blind ones.
Diplopia – A VR Game to Help Strabismus and Amblyopia is exactly what it sounds like. This sounds like a great gaming project! The game is meant to help people who have some eye issues strengthen their weak eye to restore (near) perfect control over their stereo-vision.
You can contribute to the project at IndieGogo (only 6 days left!).
From the developer:
Strabismus, better known as crossed eye, is present in about 4% of children. In those affected both eyes do not line up properly causing diplopia (double vision), amblyopia (lazy eye), and loss of vision in one or both eyes. Since the brain receives conflicting information from the two eyes it often learns to disregard the weaker of the two, suppressing it. This leads to a loss of depth perception and 3D vision.
This looks promising: new research has proven that in some cases it is possible to use stem cells to reverse blindness.
In the study, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers took a small number of stem cells from a patient’s healthy eye, multiplied them in the lab and placed them into the burned eye, where they were able to grow new corneal tissue to replace what had been damaged. Since the stem cells are from their own bodies, the patients do not need to take anti-rejection drugs.
Adult stem cells have been used for decades to cure blood cancers such as leukemia and diseases like sickle cell anemia. But fixing a problem like damaged eyes is a relatively new use. Researchers have been studying cell therapy for a host of other diseases, including diabetes and heart failure, with limited success.